*Enugu* By Johnpaul Anih, 25-9-2020
Democracy is a system of Government that is predicated on popular choice, popular opinion and popular decision.
Abraham Lincoln defined Democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
It entails the participation of the citizens in the decision making process either directly or indirectly through elected representatives.
However, because of convenience and manageability, all known democracies are by representation.
Our democracy was modelled after the American democracy, but it is still lacking the major ingredients of American model of Democracy such as
Using popular opinion as yardstick for law making and decision making.
Using election as reliable and credible means for changing leadership.
Lack of feedback mechanism between the electorates and their representatives.
Unfortunately, what we practice in Nigeria is Aristocracy (Government by the privileged few) through an established system of Godfatherism and prebendalism which thrive because of YOUTH DOCILITY, COMPLACENCE AND APATHY.
The youths are undoubtedly, the most active members of the society and constitute 60 percent of the entire population.
By age bracket and description, a youth is any Human being between the ages of 18 and 40.
They are usually the major drivers of the electoral process in Nigeria, serving in different capacities ranging from party agents, INEC Staff, Adhoc INEC Staff, Election Monitors/Observers, Security Agents, Thugs and in some cases as Candidates of Parties and most importantly as electorates, yet they are manipulated by the elites who constitute 5 percent of the entire population.
It is quite disheartening to note that these elites who manipulate the system play little or no major role in the system except using their ill gotten wealth to manipulate the poverty ridden electorates in absolute disregard for law, morality and dignity.
I was once moved to tears when I saw a youth and graduate of Nigeria University, Sharing N50 worth of biscuits to women as inducement to vote against their will during election when the said community has no presence of government.
While the citizens/electorates continue to grin and cry of misgovernance emanating from imposed leadership, they have ignorantly or negligently refused to take steps to reclaim their mandates through the ballot, of which election offers them every four years.
It is therefore diversionary and dispating of energy arguing about discarding or jettisoning a supposed zoning system which was neither a law nor a rule rather it was a convenient understanding embraced by Unenterprising elites who neither invest in the system nor have the temerity to challenge the status quo because of underlining business cum selfish interests.
There’s no where in the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 or Electoral Act 2011 as amended respectively that zoning was stated expressly or impliedly as precondition for qualification to contest for any office in Nigeria.
It is rather poverty of the minds of the electorates and the inability of the elites to contribute to the growth of our democracy that has made zoning look like a rule.
In advanced democracies, the citizens/electorates contribute or donate money in support of the candidates of their choice, thereby determining the outcome of the election.
Majority of the people who have been occupying supposed elective positions in Nigeria since 1999 are ordinarily unelectable if actual election is to be conducted where the electorates will decide but were imposed.
Why on Earth will a reasonable adult cum electorates sell his or her vote for N50, a wrap of Okpa or a bottle of beer for a cycle of twenty years of our Democratic experiment. It is only what chronic and mind infested poverty that could cause.
It is only a mentally retarded person that will choose captivity over freedom.
How can we explain the fact that we have two dominant political parties in Nigeria today and about 18 parties, yet we are all committed in dying in one political party.
It is therefore apt and timely for the youths and other well meaning citizens of Enugu State to join this train of political enlightenment and reorientation for the purpose of achieving the desired political revolution through the ballot come 2023 to usher in people oriented leadership.
✍Hon. Remiguis Ozonwama
Coal City Youth Development Initiative).
Hon. Simon Ede.